"You don't have to be taught to be afraid of the dark," Heidi Konynenbelt, a Hillcrest board member and the Christmas banquet speaker said as she gave context to Hillcrest's banquet theme Light of the World.
In Mrs. Konynenbelt's message students heard how she cherishes the time she has with the students in her Sunday school class. The group meets Sunday mornings in Hillcrest's Student Union. They call the group Substance, and it was easy to see that the group wrestles with Scripture as Mrs. Konynenbelt spoke. Passages from John and 1 Peter reverberated in the gym as the lights pierced the darkness to illuminate the stage. "You also don't have to be taught to fear the light," Mrs. Konynenbelt continued, pointing out how our sin and brokenness makes us feel when it's illuminated. Highlighting the fall in Genesis 3, Mrs. Konynenbelt spoke to how we often run and hide from our sins, when what we need is to rest in the light of the world. There, and only there, will we find peace.
Mrs. Konynenbelt's message was accented by a prayer time where students were instructed to turn the flashlights of their phones on and place them over their heads during the prayer. The action was a physical representation of the Light of the world being present and active in the Christmas celebration.
Students from Norway and America sang a few Christmas carols as dessert was served at the banquet. In closing students relaxed in front of a photo booth, snapping pictures with newfound lifelong friends that they've made in their first four months in the Castle.